Imagine that

John Kamm, whom I’ve written about before, offers a statistic that is sadly all too believable.

Ninety-nine percent of people tried in China for “endangering state security” are found guilty, a prominent human rights activist said on Tuesday, calling on President Hu Jintao to release two detained journalists.

Such state security cases — many involving perceived threats to Communist rule, spying or the theft of murkily defined state secrets — have the highest conviction rate of any crime in China, said John Kamm, head of the U.S.-based Dui Hua Foundation.

Moreover, those found guilty get the longest sentences, with two-thirds of all such cases resulting in terms of five years or more, Kamm, the veteran China businessman-turned-campaigner, told Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

From the start of 1998 to the end of 2004, there were 4,500 people prosecuted for endangering state security, he said citing data from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

“The great majority were detained for non-violent expression of their political and religious beliefs,” Kamm said.

Citing several polls, Kamm noted that China’s image and popularity on the international stage had plummeted in the past year and he put it down to a steady flow of negative news reports out of China, blocking Web sites, arresting journalists, covering up environmental disasters and closing newspapers, among others.

“China’s deteriorating international image is impacting the country’s ability to achieve its foreign policy goals, and could well affect its ability to stage a successful Olympics in 2008,” he said.

Hu, who is scheduled to visit the United States in April, should take action soon if he wants to improve China’s image, Kamm said, calling on him to order the release of journalists Ching Cheong and Zhao Yan.

More of the same; we all know that those who “threaten state security” don’t stand a chance against the State. What is so wonderful is that Kamm is doing so much to make the world aware of their plight, and of just how stacked against them the deck is.

I saw Kamm on CNN today talking about the Yahoo-Google issue. The guy has an amazing ability to cut through the BS and get right to the heart of the matter, making a calm, rational argument with no sign of emotion – and yet what he says has an emotional impact. He’s definitely one of my heroes.

The Discussion: 7 Comments

“Ninety-nine percent of people tried in China for “endangering state security” are found guilty …”

Well Jiminy Cricket, that’s a surprise!

Mind you, I am sure I read elsewhere that the conviction rate for ALL crimes in China is over 98%.

Now, THAT’S consistency.

February 21, 2006 @ 4:31 am | Comment

I’m shocked. You mean 1% of those nasty evil traitors got let off?!?

February 21, 2006 @ 5:57 am | Comment

Don’t worry FS9, after they learn six-sigma, we’ll lose a lot less.

February 21, 2006 @ 1:38 pm | Comment

Amazing, its the exact opposite in the US.

99 Percent of those charges with endangeing state security in America are locked up in a POW camp on Cuba and are never brought to trial.

February 23, 2006 @ 5:16 am | Comment

Totally false, ACB. Most are released with out any charges at all.

February 23, 2006 @ 7:18 am | Comment

And worse still, after they’ve been released, some of them have engaged in hostilities against the US. Once again, the difference between USA (better not to punish the innocent, and let a guilty man go) and China (punish them anyway, just to be sure) is revealed. Attempts to equate the Chinese justice system with the US reveal a lot about the speaker, and very little about the law. Speaking of which, where’s Conrad? ๐Ÿ˜›

February 23, 2006 @ 3:30 pm | Comment

I haven’t heard of any of the released War on Terror prisoners committing hostilities. Have You?

February 23, 2006 @ 4:03 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.